Sunday, June 25, 2017

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare - Book Review

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
Publication date: May 23, 2017
My rating: 3.5 stars

Here I am.
Trying to find the right words to describe all of... this.
, but I suppose I should initially mention this is the second book in The Dark Artifices series and you should by no means read this review if you haven't read the first book, let alone the previous books in the Shadowhunters world.
Here's my review of Lady Midnight and here's my explanation of Cassandra Clare's books for you there who want to jump onto the Shadowhunters train (highly recommended, BTW).
Sorry for being so... well... flippant, should I say?
I think I'm a little shell-shocked.
There's no possible way I can talk about this book without freaking out or being none spoilery so... there's that. 

*Full Review - With Spoilers*

*taking a deep breath* 
God, where to even begin? 

I suppose I should start with my rating?

For those of you who don't know me, I'm a huge fan of Cassandra Clare (to put it mildly). For me to rate a book by her less than 4 stars has... well, quite frankly, never happened.
But then again it seems to be an occurring this with me this year - rating my most anticipated books in the history of ever by my favorite authors so low.
It's not that I don't find them great, or awesome, or fantastic.
They're still all of the above.
It's just that... there's something missing. Something I know in my heart should be there but isn't.
Something I'm sure I'll see again in the next books to come and will be able to explain why I didn't love this one quite as much more clearly. 

It wasn't that he had any particular desire to learn how to use a dagger - nothing beyond the general interest he figured most teenagers had in deadly weapons. 

Ah, Kit.
I knew I was going to love you from the very end of Lady Midnight.
There's just something about Kit that is so obviously Herondale yet... different.
He's not as bitter and as self-destructive as Jace & Will, and he also lacks the general arrogance of Shadowhunters since he didn't grow up knowing he was one (in many ways, thank the angel for that).

At the same time, he's terribly (by which I mean awesomely) sarcastic, charming, and a natural warrior.

For me, Kit & Ty were the highlights of this book.
There were no characters I loved both separately and together as much as I loved these two.
I lived for every interaction they had.
It was the sweetest, the most heartwarming, and definitely the best parts of Lord of Shadows.
The way they slowly grew from curiosity to the kind of friendship you can only dream of, into something more... was bordering on heartbreaking with how wonderfully sweet those two characters together are. 

I was so happy Cassandra Clare developed their bond as strongly has she had, and soon enough I realized why.
Because Ty can't possibly handle what that ending brought on his own.
Hell, I'm not even sure he can handle it now. 
He's going to need Kit, and he's going to need him bad, to be there for him. And just the thought of what Ty is going to go through in the next book - and books - to come... breaks my heart. 
And Julian... Oh, Julian. Who was more of a father to Livvy than a brother is now... is now...
God. That ending. 

I usually don't see Cassie Clare's deaths coming, but I saw it this time.
The Livvy part, not the Robert one.
I was certain of it after she was injured at the Shadow Market. I don't know why, it just... felt like this was what was going to happen. It felt certain and imminent.
Something about Livvy and Ty and Kit this book all led to this terrible, terrible, terrible conclusion of Livvy's death. 

*shaking my head* 

I'm not broken (not as much as I was in Clockwork Princess or as much as I would have been if Ty, Kieran, Jace, Clary, Alec or Magnus died), but I'm so very sad.
Because Livvia was such a bright and beautiful character.
And because she was so loved. And so happy. And so sweet.
And because I know what it's going to do to the blackthorns (Julian & Ty specifically), that my heart cries out to them all. 

Ty... Ty is going to be catatonic, possibly bordering on self-destructive. He's going to blame himself for ever contacting Annabel.
And Julian... Julian is going to be so full of hate and guilt and self-blame it's going to kill him from the inside out.
And poor Alec... losing his father just after finding him for the first time.
Not to mention Isabelle, Jace, Clary and Simon who are all connected through this death of Robert Lightwood.  

It was a bloodbath. 

Beside her was Diego Rocio Rosales, notable for the Clave for being a highly trained centurion and to the Blackthorns for having the nickname Perfect Diego.

Diego was very imperfect this book, huh?
Poor guy, having to deal with Zara Dearborn (I hate her I hate her I hate her I hate her) - whom I simply had an undeniable case of immediate hatred to.

Speaking of the Rosales, we finally got to see the much talked about Jaime.
Whom I really liked. I found him charming, and I loved his interactions with Dru - super fun. I would say I ship them together if not for the fact they have an age gap that I'm not sure can work.
But even them just staying good friends would be perfect to me.
That being said, I'm sensing that Jaime is going to come into bigger play in The Queen of Air and Darkness. As well as Cristina's strange connection to the Fey and the unknown and dangerous artifact Jaime is smuggling.

We also got a glimpse of a very interesting looking character, when Dru got temporarily sucked into Feary. She met this fairy boy who asked her if his mom sent her.
Said boy had pale blond hair and green eyes.
Now, I did not think anything about it - hell, I didn't even remember it - until I saw this booktalk of Lord of Shadows by my favorite booktuber.
It turns out that boy could quite possibly be Sebastian Morgenstern's child. 
Shocking? I know!

If you remember, Sebastian and the Seelie Queen had quite the... arrangment in City of Heavenly Fire. Which included them being intimate, which then fired up the theory of a possibly Sebastian child.
Not to mention, it was said the Unseelie king was holding someone precious to the Queen hostage. Who could be more precious to her than her own child? And we all know the queen isn't the heartwarming type. The only person she could truly care about is her own flesh and blood. 

If this is indeed their child it would simply be... mindblowing. 
For everyone and especially Clary.
But maybe Clary already knows? She and Jace are, after all, on a secret mission to fairy. Is the boy who they're looking for?

The only question this theory holds is how the boy could possibly be around 13 when it's only been 5 years since The Dark War?
I think it could be pretty easy to explain with how time flows differently in feary. We mainly discussed how it flows slower, but does it nececerily mean it can't flow faster?
We shall see. 

"We're shadowunters," said Jace. "You'll find that the crisis is never over."

And that's precisely why we get a neverending amount of books. *smirk*.

It actually reminds me of a qoute in an anime I recently watched 'no tale is more compelling than one that never ends.'
I, personally, find it to be true.
But that just may be because I hate endings more than anything else. 

I actually didn't expect Annabel and Malcolm to still play such a strong role in this book. I suspected that, perhaps, Annabel may have risen from the dead, but I actually did not see her killing Malcolm happening. 

I understand that she was angry, furious, and betrayed by him but... like Kieran said, I think I also found it rather ungrateful of her (?).
I don't know.
All I'm saying is I'm surpsied she didn't even give him a chance to talk or explain or do something before she killed him.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Malcolm is dead (for good, though, I wonder?), it's just that the kind of love they had... I didn't think it would end like that.
But then, not everyone gets their happy ending.
That said, Annabel is not the same girl she was before. Not only did she come back as the broken girl she was after all her torture, she also has risen from the dead - which we have no idea what consequences it has on a person.
Or, actually, we do now...
Complete and utter bloodbath.
Which I also didn't see coming.
I knew Livvy was going to die, I just did not expect it to be by Annabel's hand.  

And now Annabel is in the Unsealie's king hold.
I was totally hoping for Emma to kill her, avenge Livvy, at the end.
And when it was taken away from her... the only thing she could do in a situation like that... I could practically feel her heart breaking. 

What do you suppose is going to happen now?
Will Annabel cooperate with the Unseelie king? She's definitely not going to be one big happy family with the Blackthorns now. There's no redemption left for her, sadly.
I can't hate her... I don't have that kind of hate towards her in me.
I'm more... disappointed, sad, and feel bad for her.
That being said, I will not - cannot - ever forgive her for what she has done. 

"That I'm going to die," Clary said. "Not a long time from now. Soon." 

Excuse me, but WHAT?
*Hysterical laughter* 

Just no.
Cassandra, if you kill Clary I... I don't know what I'll do but I'll definitely break.
What the hell!
Clary can't die.
No... she can't... can she?
Like HELL she can. 

Prophecy or no prophecy, there's no way Clary is dying and leaving Simon & Jace.
Not after everything they went through.
They went through hell - LITERALLY.
And Jace did die once.
And Simon also died - many times.
So... so... even if Clary does die, no WAY is it going to be permanent.
Sorry, but no.
I refuse to even hear about it.

And why, by the angel, oh why, does she think it's ever a good idea to hide it from Jace?
In the history of ever, did hiding this kind of secret ever worked for anyone?

Just ask Emma and her infuriating game of tag just not to tell Julian the truth (how did that work out, huh?). 

Up until that moment in the book I had a ridicules smile on my face.
I did not smile often after that scene on the roof.

"And I am a prince of Fearie," said Kieran. "Son of the king, Prince of the Frost Court, Keeper of the Cold Way, Wild Hunter, and Sword of the Host. Do not annoy me." 

I stand by my love for Kieran.
I love him even more so now than I did in Lady Midnight. And I also still stand by him and Mark as a couple, Cristina be damned.
Sorry, Mark & Cristina fans.
Okay, so I don't really want Cristina to be damned, that was a strong reaction on my side.
I just... never really connected to Cristina.
Everyone loves her, and I definitely do not hate her, I just... can't seem to see what everyone else sees in her.
I'm sorry, but I can't.
I simply can't seem to feel for her, no matter how hard I try.
And this is also why I just can't root for her and Mark together. You can't love a couple together if you don't first love them individually.
For me, it's always going to be Mark & Kieran till the end.
I adore Kieran and I really like Mark (he's so endearing).
Just a tiny question: 

"I danced with him. With Mark. And we kissed." 
"That's good! That is good, right?" 
 "It was, but then Kieran came in-"  
"But he wasn't angry. He just told Mark that he should dance better, and he danced with me. It was like dancing with fire." 
 "Woah, sexy weirdness," said Emma. "This may be more sexy weirdness than I can handle." 
"It is not weird!" 
 "It is," said Emma. "You're headed for a faerie threesome. Or some kind of war." 
"Hot faerie threesome," said Emma cheerfully. "I can say I knew you when." 

What the heck is that? 
And Emma basically said exactly what I feared some chapters before it actually happened.
And... what even is that?
Because I do not get it.
Is Cristina some fearie whisperer?
She even bewitched Kieran!
I'm honestly not sure what is going on with those three. What is going to happen in the final book should resolve this but still. I'm dreading it. 

My parabatai, she thought, looking at Jules, standing with his back straight and his head back, the only seventeen-year-old boy in the world who could make the King of the Dark Court doubt himself. 

So... can we talk about Julian for a sec? Because I'm pretty sure he's bordering into evil overlord territory.
We only saw a glimpse of that in Lady Midnight, but it became very much apparent in Lord of Shadows. Julian's... let's call it 'dark side'?

Eeveryone has one - Emma, Ty, Kit, everyone - but in Julian's case it's... so much darker, so much thicker, so much harsher. It's... kind of evil. And it's not something we expect from our main love interest and main protagonist. Racking my brain, none of Cassandra's previous protagonist ever went into... this kind of dubious territory where you honestly don't know if that good guy isn't actually capable of some pretty evil stuff.
Still don't know what to think about it.
Personally, I love dark characters, ones who are morally dubious (says a lot about me, doesn't it?), but it Jullian's case it feels... different. Which is why I haven't made up my mind about whether I like it or not.
After all, there's a great difference between being dark and evil.

I can't even begin to imagine what's going to happen to him now, after... after Livvy (*sob*).
Will it make him weaker? Stronger? Darker?
Will he honestly risk breaking every Parabatai bond from here on out for a future with Emma? (that was one dreadful truth to find out).
We know Emma would never, but Julian... Julian is an uncertain territory here.
Can you imagine - no more Parabatai ever again? *shudders*.
I love the parabatai bond (not Emma's and Julian though, that one was... I don't know what they were thinking). So much. If it was only real, huh?

"Magnus Bane," said Barnabas, with clear loathing. "The Ultimate Traitor."  
"Not my favorite nickname," Magnus said, gently wiggling his fingers in Barnabas's direction. "I prefer 'Our Lord and Master' or maybe 'unambiguously the Hottest.' "

Magnus Bane, high warlock of all. 
By the Angel, I missed him. Terribly.
That scene when he suddenly showed up for the first time... my reaction was: 'MAGNUS! HERE TO THE RESCUE!'  

The ending was such a mess of blood, murder, feelings, chaos, and tragedy, that it was easy to forget all the other revelations at the end.
Like the one where we're practically told all warlocks - including our favorite Magnus and Tessa - are very sick.
Apprently, much like with the blight that renders Nephilim powers useless, someone is determined to take all power away from Shadowhunters. Even if it means hurting the warlocks as well. 

We have no idea what that sickness is, or how to cure it...
All we can do is hope for Magnus and Tessa and... well, everyone. Ty, Kit, Emma, Julian, Mark, Helen, Dru, Cristina, Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle, Tessa, Jem, Kieran, and even Perfect Diego... so many people, so much to lose.  

The new Jace Herondale.

For goodness sake, what is all this talk about 'the new Jace Herondale'?
Jace is still alive here, people! Hopefully for a very long time with Clary and some children of their own. And anyways... if anyone's going to be the so-called 'new Jace Herondale', it's going to be Kit.
And, well, even 100 years from now no one could truly replace Jace.
Like no one can replace Will, or Clary or Tessa or Jem.

Seem as if you're paying no attention, but absorb every detail, Gwyn had often said. A hunter's life can depend on what he knows. 

Gwyn & Diana were an unexpected and welcomed surprise.
Despite not knowing them, well, at all, I found myself totally shipping and rooting for these two to stay alive and together.

Diana's revelation was heartbreaking. I did not see it coming.
She deserves to be happy. 

"Break my heart," he said. "Break it in pieces. I give you permission."

That scene when they finally - mercifully - gave up all the pretense and came clean was... I wouldn't say beautiful more than it was a HUGE relief.
Okay, so it was beautiful. I was just too busy to notice that with how annoying those two were throughout the book until that scene. 

I can't believe I'm saying this - ME! - but... Lord of Shadows quite possibly had too much romance in it. 
I know, I can't believe I just said that.
I'm a HUGE-HUGE-HUGE-HUGE (add a few more HUGE there) fan of romance. I'm hardcore on all the shipping and fangirling stuff.
And yet I found there to be too much romance. Ha.
I think the main reason was, most likely, how fast things happened. The romance - aside from that of Mark & Kieran and Kit & Ty - was bordering on insta-love.
Not enough for me to scream 'Insta-love! My greatest enemy!', but enough for me to feel uncomfortable and often bored with it. 

And I think... no, I'm pretty sure, I just reached the heart of the problem I had with Lord of Shadows.  

A bad law is no law.

The Clave.
They never learn, do they?
If they only. Just. Stopped. And. Listened.
Their fear, their hatred, their mistrust and none-change policy will be the end of them.
Hell, it's already the beginning of the end of them. And they don't even know it.
Something is coming. Something darker, more dangerous, and eviler than anything that happened so far.
And that says a lot, considering how horrible The Dark War has been. 

Heroes aren't always the ones who win. They're the ones who lose, sometimes. But they keep fighting, they keep coming back. They don't give up. That's what makes them heroes. 

We thought, we hoped, Clary & Jace were able to bring change and peace to the Clave and Downworlders.
And they did - they did so much more than anyone before them. And yet... it still isn't enough. The clave is still the clave. Their laws are still bordering from insane to ridicules. 

They don't want change?
Well too bad, because they're going to be forced into one.
And it's all because they refused to listen, to try.
All that's now is survive and put our faith our heroes.

Favorite quotes (aside from, you know, all the quotes thus far): 

"After all" - Jace grinned - "Herondales can't resist a challenge."

(Kyaa, Jace! If this just didn't make me want to re-read TMI I don't know what would). 

"It is too bad - I was going to name in Magnus, because of it has sparkly scales." 

(A shadowhunter fish named MAGNUS due to his sparkly scales? Yes please. Magnus the fish did not survive this qoute, though. *too bad*). 

"I trust you to always keep fighting, Emma. I trust you not to ever give up."

(That reminds me... is Cortana the new Mortal Sword now? What in the world was that at the end when the Mortal Sword broke? We know Cortana is one hell of a sword, challenged by no other, but... breaking the Mortal Sword and absorbing its powers? Whoa, what will happen to the sword - and Emma - now?
On a completely different matter, I trust you not to give up, too, Clary). 

"Come to the library," she announced. "The tentacle is starting to dissolve." 
"You drive me wild with your sexy talk," said Jace, pulling on his gear jacket. 

"Fiction is truth, even if it is not fact. If you believe only in facts and forget stories, your brain will live, but your heart will die." 

(A new favorite, this one. Right alongside 'heroes aren't always the ones who win' and 'all the stories are true'). 

Everything went. Happiness went, and so did loss and pain. Everything but love. 

(Julian, cruel and uncompromising, says the most heartfelt of things).

But you couldn't speak to fear, couldn't tell it the truth. Fear lived in your bones. 

"We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them. We fear dying because we value being alive. Don't wish you didn't fear anything. All that would mean is that you didn't feel anything."

"We should get going, though. Morning is probably in just a few hours. And if we don't have Energy runes, we'll have to get our energy the old-fashioned way."  
Mark looked puzzled. "Drugs?"   
"Chocolate," Emma said. "I brought chocolate. Mark, where do you even come up with these things?" 
Mark smiled crookedly, shrugging one shoulder. "Faerie humor?" 

"Herondales don't do perfunctory kisses," said Kit. 

(They sure don't. *smirk*). 

After a moment, Kieran drank. Suddenly he pushed the vial away, coughing. "How dare you-" he began, and then his eyes rolled back and he sank down to the pillows. Mark caught him before his wounded back could touch the bed, and helped Nene carefully roll him onto his side."Don't feel bad," Mark said, noticing Nene's set jaw. "He always falls asleep yelling that."

Julian felt his mouth go dry. Why had Nene left her a dress? Why couldn't Emma be coming to bed in filthy gear? Why did the universe hate him?

... 2 seconds later: 

The gown fell away slightly as she climbed onto the bed, and Julian realized to his horror that it was slit up the side almost to her hip. Her long legs flashed against the material as she settled herself onto the bedspread.The universe didn't just hate him, it was trying to kill him. 

The weapons were carefully locked away, he didn't know how to sell candlesticks on the street, and though there were valuable first editions of books in the enormous library, most of them had been scribbled in by some idiot named Will H. 

(W-Wiiiiil *sob* *sob* *sob*. Will would approve of your sense of humor, young Kit. Also, he's not an idiot). 

"The world isn't the way you want it to be. It's the way it is." 


" 'The difficulty is not so great to die for a friend, as to find a friend worth dying for. ' "

"I swear I've seen it in the movies," Kit said. "Or maybe on TV." 
"Who would ever want movies or TV when there are books?" Said Ty with disdain. 

"It's not shadowhunter magic. We don't learn other kinds. It's forbidden."This struck Kit as a stupid rule. How were you ever supposed to know how your enemies operated if you made it forbidden to learn about them? 

(Welcome to 'the law is stupid, but it is the law' club, Kit). 

"This is the problem with revenge - you wind up destryong the innocent as well as the guilty."


She edged sideways, slipping her fingers out of his - closer to the edge of the bed - and went over the side with an ungainly tumble. She landed with a thump and a scream that woke Julian, who peered over the side of the bed in confusion. 
"Why are you on the floor?" 
"I've heard rolling out of bed in the morning helps you build up resistance to surprise attacks," Emma said, lying sprawled on the hardwood. 
"Oh yeah?" He sat up and rubbed his eyes. "What does screaming 'holy crap!' do?" 
"That part's optional," she said.

"The Lightwood family motto is 'We mean well'." 
"Very funny." 
Julian looked over at her. "No, really, it actually is." 
"Seriously? So what's the Herondale family motto? 'Chiseled but angsty'?"  
He shrugged. " 'If you don't know what your last name is, it's probably Herondale'?" 
Emma burst out laughing. "What about Carstairs?" She asked, tapping cortana. " ' We have a sword? ' ' Blunt instruments are for loseres'?"  
"Morgenstern," offered Julian. " ' When in doubt, start a war'?"  
"How about 'Has even one of us ever been any good, like ever, seriously'?"

(That nearly killed me. I was cracking up on the floor! 😂 We mean well? If you don't know what your last name is it's probably Herondale? We have a sword? When in doubt, start a war? I was cackling on the floor like crazy. This was HILARIOUS. Funniest conversation of the book). 

"All the stories are true." 

"Wikipedia knows about ley lines?" Emma took her phone back. 
"Wikipedia knows about everything. It might be run by warlocks."

(That's an exciting thought). 

"Now we know nothing we can do will change how we feel about each other. We'll have to find another solution." 

(This is no more of a quote than it is food for thought for every single annoyingly stubborn couple and love interests out there). 

Magnus Bane appeared in their kitchen, wrapped in a long black coat, his right hand sparking blue fire, his expression thunderous."Why in the names of the nine princes of Hell are neither of you answering your phone?" He demanded.Emma and Julian gaped at him. After a moment, he gaped back. 

(How is it Magnus always hilariously stumbles onto those types of situations? Although I can't think of anyone better to stumble onto these situations upon. It's like some sort of quirky kind of fate. Poor Magnus, lucky us). 

"You're suggesting we burn down Blackthorn Manor?" said Ty, his eyebrows up around his hairline. 
"Oddly," Magnus muttered, "you wouldn't be the first people ever to have that idea." 

(Do tell. Does it have anything to do with TLH? Looking forward to that). 

"They didn't see how revenge begets more revenge." 

(That's the thing about revenge. It's a neverending cycle. unless someone chooses mercy). 

If there was one thing Julian's life had taught him, it was that nothing was more dangerous than hope. 

(You can never truly lose hope. It'll come back to haunt you at the slightest of chances). 

"No one looks forward to meetings," said Emma. "They're a necessary evil." 

"Come on, Alec," she said. "The truth is that Shadowhunters and Downworlders aren't meant to be together. You and Bane are a disgrace. But you can't just be content with the Clave letting you pervert your angelic lineage. No, you have to force it on the rest of us." 
"Really?" said Kieran, who Kit had nearly forgotten was there. "You all have to sleep with Magnus Bane? How exciting for you." 

(Ha! Serves you right, Zara). 

There was a long silence. Magnus broke it. "I have to hand it to you," he said. "I never thought Jace and Clary would be topped by anyone else in terms of insane, self-destructive decisions, but you're all giving them a run for their money." 

(*laughing*. Too true). 

In conclusion: Lord of Shadows was a great sequel to Lady Midnight. It had too much of stuff (romance, drama, angst) and too less of others (action, plot development, etc.), but overall I really did love this book. It was a good one. I had great times reading it, and I absolutely cannot wait for the final one in the trilogy (oh boy, this is going to destroy us, isn't it?).
Although it seems like I'll have to wait. The next Shadowhunter books that are coming out next year are The Lost Book of the White (the first in a whole new Magnus trilogy) & Chain of Gold (the first in the heartbreaking The Last Hours trilogy, taking place almost a hundred years previous to Julian and Emma's story). 

Ahhhh, and the wait begins!
I'm not ever going to catch a break, am I?
Serves me right for loving these books so much.

"When people die, our dreams of what they could be die with them."

"You're wrong. No one dies alone. When someone dies, the part of them that lives inside someone else also dies." 
-- SAO


  1. I desperately want to read your review but I haven't read LoS yet. I should be reading it in July I think. I'm only slightly freaked out by your rating. :P

    1. No-no, don't freak out about it ^^
      I really did love Lord of Shadows (:
      I think it's mostly my own insane expectations from Cassie that made me feel this way '^^
      Anyways, I'm hoping you'll love it, Stephanie! Please do read it - it's... it's... well, just wait and see ;)